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Gaza: Israeli air strike on Rafah kills 12 more Palestinians, say medics

May 30, 2024 at 2:37 pm

Palestinians mourn near makeshift tents after the Israeli shelling of a refugee tent encampment in al-Mawasi area west of Rafah killed at least 21 Palestinians, including children on May 28, 2024 in Rafah, Gaza. [Jehad Alshrafi – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces killed at least 12 more Palestinians in a dawn air strike on Rafah in southern Gaza, medics said today. Reuters has reported that fighting has raged in several other areas of the coastal enclave.

The occupation state pressed on with its offensive on Rafah a day after saying its forces had taken control of the supposedly demilitarised buffer zone along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, giving it effective control over Gaza’s entire land border.

Israel claimed that the buffer zone’s capture had cut off a route used by the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, to smuggle arms into Gaza during the Israeli war which has laid waste to much of the enclave and created famine conditions.

According to Gaza medical sources, the 12 Palestinians killed today were civilians. An unspecified number of others were wounded in an Israeli air strike as they tried to recover the body of a civilian in the centre of Rafah.

Another Palestinian civilian was killed in an air strike on Al-Shati refugee camp west of Gaza City in the north of the occupied and besieged Palestinian territory, the medics said.

Israel reported fighting taking place in southern, central and northern Gaza but did not comment immediately on the reported killings in Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians have taken refuge in what the occupation state insisted were safe zones. The occupation army confirmed that a soldier had been killed in fighting in northern Gaza, bringing to 292 Israel’s admitted combat losses since its first ground incursion on 20 October.

The occupation forces have kept up attacks and air strikes on Rafah despite an order by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the World Court, for Israel to halt its onslaught. Israel claims to be trying to root out Hamas fighters and rescue hostages being held there. The ICJ also called for the release of hostages held in Gaza by Hamas.

More than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s air and land war in Gaza since October, with 53 of those killed in the past 24 hours, said the Palestinian health ministry. At least 80,000 have been wounded, with an estimated 12,000 buried under the rubble of their homes destroyed by Israeli tank, artillery and air strikes.

Israel launched its offensive after a cross-border incursion by Hamas fighters on 7 October last year, in which just under 1,200 people were killed, many of them by Israeli tanks and helicopter gunships, Israeli media reported. Around 250 Israelis were taken hostage by Hamas.

READ: Egypt denies Israeli claims of tunnels on border with Gaza